tv [untitled] April 17, 2013 4:14pm-4:44pm PDT
so, in other words, everyone can use this. all departments will have the same coverage and communication capabilities. this is what your departments all said a few years ago. i have an m-o-u between all the departments that suggests that you were going to all work toward an inter operable system. so -- >> [inaudible] was again the public service radio system that was -- that was being referenced not the public service radio system. two different things. i think originally there was the intention to be able to have all the public service radios and mta on the same system. and i believe there is still that possibility because we don't know what the capacity is of the system and that's another reason why we want the consultant on board. >> okay. so, in other words, we don't know yet until we have a consultant on board who can tell us despite all the money we've spent kind of where this is going? okay.
>> so, back to the slide we were on before, the comparison of wireless systems. so, the covered area in everything but bay web is just san francisco. the two systems you referred to that are pricey, the bay web and mta or two of them are both federally grant funded. they're not general funded. major source of funding for the 800 megahertz would have to be general fund, as would the public service radio. although as i mentioned earlier, we are looking for additional funding. if there's any grant opportunities, we're always looking for other money that we can put into the system. i think this slide, which we shared with you a couple weeks ago, president chiu, graphically lets you see what i'm trying to say verbally, is that the vast majority of the funding is not general fund.
the bay web infrastructure and the sfmta project are not dipping into the general fund. the most part of the general fund request is for the 800 megahertz, although there is a little bit for the public service radio, or there will be. and a little bit for the bay web devices and service fees. now, the police [speaker not understood] in chief suhr's presentation earlier, he was talking about buying devices now for his officers that are smart phone type devices. we all know if we have a smart phone that the life of those is not very long, two or three years. so, they are going to be paying -- if it's approved by the board, that allocation request, we'll be paying monthly service fees to a commercial carrier for those phones. it is our intention that once the new system is put in place where we do have that data
capability in 2015-16, that we would continue to pay the monthly service fee, but this time to the public safety specific system which is bay web. so, that would be, again, it is the discretion of the board what you are going to approve in this next two-year budget. but if you do approve that, those service fees will be basically ongoing. it will just be a different device in hand. >> before you move off the slide, i want to make a couple observation to my colleagues. i understand the point of the slide is to show that about two third of the money for the $270 million price tag for all these systems is coming from nongeneral fund sources. that being said, this is still real money. and on top of that, in the general fund we're spending close to $80 million. and one thing i point out, colleagues, typically during our budget process, we fight for scraps for add-backs on the
tune of tune of 15 to $20 million. we're talking about close to $80 million of general fund money going for radio systems that from my perspective i think could be redundant. and again, i think it just goes to how we need to take a step back before we proceed and make significant investments here. >> i would like to just say on a personal note the thing that keeps me awake at night -- there are quite ah few things related to my job, as you can imagine. but, you know, what happens if that 800 megahertz system does not function any more? that is, as i said, the life line of our police and fire and sheriff. you know, they rely on that every day on the streets for public safety. so, i totally agree with what you're saying. that's why we ask for money for the consultant for the next two years. but in whatever form those recommendations come out, until there is some new kind of system to replace that, we need that push to talk capability. officers need within half a second to be able to push their
radios, communicate with our dispatch, and communicate with each other. it's absolutely critical. >> and i completely agree with you for that. let me make just one other point, which is san francisco, my understanding, we're the only major county in the bay area that has large scale radio systems. if you look at los angeles, they are in the process of consolidating their multiple radio systems into one system, which includes public transit. oakland has consolidated their radio users into a single p-25 radio system. for less than $10 million. and they are also inter operable with transit. sacramento county operates one radio system for all agencies in their county, including public transit as well. they've been doing it successfully for many years and their price tag was far less than what we have here. so, i don't think we should do anything to jeopardize our public safety needs, but i do think we can take some lessons from other jurisdictions and figure out if we can do it better here in san francisco. >> i totally agree with you. and one of the lessons we took from some of our neighboring
communities and i won't mention them, but is how they did not get a consultant first to scope out the project and maybe the project was not very expensive, but it's also not working. so, you know, if you cobble together thing that are not meant to be cobbled together, it could be a disaster. we want to be methodical as we go forward. we want to make sure we're doing the right thing. this is public money we're asking to spend. we want to be conscious of that and make sure that we do it in a way that is, is, that is transparent and that is going to give us a system that works. >> so, are you saying sacramento and oakland and l.a., their systems are not ready for -- >> all i know is what i read in the paper about oakland and, you know, you probably read the same articles. i think they've had real problems with the coverage of their radios in oakland. oakland opted out of the [speaker not understood] system
when alameda put all of the rest of alameda county, to my knowledge, is on the same system and oakland chose their own. and it's been a real challenge. my counterparts over there have a hard time every day, you know, and i think that they brought -- i think they brought on a consultant recently in the last few months to see what kind of fixes they could have, but they have had huge challenges. as far as l.a., l.a. is a whole different -- a whole different animal. and i've talked to my counterpart down there, jim feather stone. they're having problems even with their bay web project and they got a lot more money through mtia through the federal grants for their bay web project or their dtoc project rather than we did. and they've already gone out to bid twice -- throw during the third time to bring on a vendor to help them build out the system and they have not been
able to yet. >> and i appreciate your point around needing the budget that is transparent. and again, this is why i've asked to bring this in front of this budget committee. as you know, this is the first time we've had a public discussion on this topic. and from my perspective, we've been having discussions at coit. it's been difficult to get to the bottom of what we're doing. so, i do look forward to continuing the conversations about how we can all work together to get this done right. >> i only have a couple more slides. i'm almost through. i wanted to show you what the anticipated schedule is. so, again, i mentioned before, bay web 2015 build out, that's by september 2015. that's what the feds are requiring with that grant. we're looking at if the conclusions of the consultant over the next couple years give us the road map for 800 megahertz, and it is something that the board of supervisors supports, we're looking at 2018 to cut over that system.
i believe the mta system is going to be operational in 2015. and again, i did not want it off our radar screen, the public service department. so, i put it out there, but we really -- we haven't scoped out that project and we are hoping that our consultant can come in and give us some really good options on how to move forward on that. and then my last slide is just the estimated budgets, which i believe we basically already talked about quite a few times. i will point out again the 75 million for the bay web project, 15 million of that is for san francisco. so, it's a little challenging in doing a chart like this that you've got the 75 million which is regional, the general fund request that we are asking is for san francisco. so, it's a little bit like comparing apples and oranges, but i wanted to give you the whole picture.
and, you know, if there are other questions, i'm happy to attempt to answer them. fire and police are also both here in support of these projects. and i'm sure that they could answer your questions, or our technical folks. >> thank you. thank you, president chiu. if there are no other questions, let's open this up for public comment. is there anyone from the public that would like to speak? seeing none, public comment is closed. do you have any closing remarks, president chiu? >> i think just a couple closing remarks. first of all, i do, despite my tough questions, want to thank the staff who have prepared for today. i know that they are operating under difficult positions particularly since many of them have recently come into their positions and are inheriting departments and legacy systems that have been around for a long time. i think i made my point as to where i hope this goes, you know, first and foremost we need to have i think an outsider come in and tell us
with all the systems that we have, these four different systems. what can we put together, what can we build on top of each other to make sure that we have a system that is efficient, that is effective, and that hopefully works within our budget. because frankly, it's hard for me to imagine going to the director of the mayor's budget office and asking her for this level of money for anything else. and i'm not convinced that these are dollars that we ought to be spending when there are other ways in which other jurisdictions have thought about this. i do want to say also that i think the fact that we haven't had a permanent cio ever since that position was created two years ago has been a problem here. we need to have someone whose job and responsibility it is to work to coordinate all of these because in the meantime it's completely understandable that individual departments like dem and sfmta and the police department and the fire department need to keep doing their jobs. so, you're going to do what you need to do within your siloized
perspectives. but i think until we actually take a step back and think about where technologies are going, it's going to be difficult for us to answer that question. and i don't have an expectation or i think could fairly ask any of you individually to do that task for the entire city. but if we don't do that, we're going to be spending $270 million over the next five years and i just want to make sure that that money is going to be put to good use. so, with that, colleagues, i appreciate your indulgence with this hearing and i look forward to future conversation about radios. >> thank you. colleagues, if there are no other questions, let's continue this to the call of the chair. without objection. thank you. [gavel] >> mr. young, is there any other business before us? >> that is the end itv this afternoon. >> great. thank you, everyone. meeting adjourned. [gavel]